Puaʻala Pascua

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UH Mānoa Natural Resource and Environmental Management
​Place-based and Indigenous Perspectives on Cultural Ecosystem Services

My research examines cultural ecosystem services (CES) – the non-material benefits realized through human-environmental interactions- as a means to make important socio-cultural considerations more visible in natural resource management and land-use planning, particularly in place-based and indigenous communities. Our research team developed an interdisciplinary and mixed-methods approach to: 1) outline a process for appropriately eliciting place-based and indigenous CES; 2) highlight important CES in Hawaiʻi as perceived by those with strong cultural connections to place; and 3) demonstrate how those place-based CES compare/contrast with commonly recognized CES. Our results highlight CES from a Hawaiian place-based/indigenous point of view and include services related to cultural practices, ancestral landscapes, and environmental kinship. But equally important is the process we present, which we hope will empower other researchers to accurately and appropriately identify place-based CES in their own ecosystem service assessments.